Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/370

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366 Southern Historical Society Papers.

of the embankment with his head hanging in the iort. We pulled him down in the fort, and that night carried him out and buried him.

During the night we strengthened the wrecked fort and in doing so unearthed numbers of Confederate soldiers who were killed and buried by the explosion. I remember in one place there were eight poor fellows lying side by side with their coats under their head. They seemed never to have moved after the explosion.


The recapture of the fort restored our lines in statu quo.

That night we slept in the fort over those who slept ' 'the sleep that knows no waking," and with the living that slept that sleep caused by exhaustion. The morning came as clear and the day as hot and dry as the preceding one. The sharpshooters were ex- ceedingly alert, firing every moment, each side momentarily ex- pecting active hostilities to be renewed. While the wounded in the fort and our trenches had been removed during the night and were being cared for, the ground between the main lines of the two armies was literally covered by wounded and dead Federals, who fell in advancing and retreating. We could hear them crying for relief, but the firing was so severe that none dared go to them either by day or night.


About noon or a little after, there went up a flag of truce im - mediately in our front. The flag was a white piece of cloth about a yard square on a new staff. General Saunders ordered the sharp- shooters to cease firing. Then a Yankee soldier with a clean, white shirt and blue pants jumped on top of their works holding the flag and was promptly followed by two elegantly uniformed officers. General Saunders asked those of us near him if we had a white handkerchief. And all replied: "No." A private soldier near by said to the men around him: "Boys, some of you take off your shirt and hand it to the general," to which another replied: "Never do that; they will think we have hoisted a black flag."

The general finally got a handkerchief, which, though not alto- gether suitable for a drawing-room, he and Captain George Clark, A. A. General, tied to the ramrod of a musket, and Captain Clark, with one man carrying the improvised flag, went forward to meet